One historical marker gave me a great perspective on early Wyoming settlers.

No one has seen all of Wyoming's historical markers unless they went looking for them. I mean who's seen all of them? If you go by a historical marker on a daily path, but never stop to read it, don't feel bad. Even we who love our history probably just don't think of stopping, even when it wouldn't be going out of our way.

This one above, in front of the Laramie County Courthouse, has a trash can right next to it, so when I needed to toss an empty cup, I thought, "Wait. What's this say?" At the top, one sentence about the arrivals in the late 1860s included a few reasons why they came. One was just to leave the Post Civil War ravaged east. That one line just re-focused my history lens.

I still pick up watching pieces of the Ken Burns Civil War series every time I see it's on. I may break out some popcorn, but I sit shaking my head at the miserable, hateful era it was.

We've always heard some settlers had their own reasons for wanting to get away, but maybe there were more of them who weren't so much about coming here. They were just about leaving there. Did Kevin Costner's Dances with Wolves character, John Dunbar, know what he'd find. Did he even care as long as it wasn't back east. That war went on a few years and may have driven everyone else just as crazy.

We know there was the transcontinental railroad boom, but maybe that was just one excuse to hit the trail west. Those jobs sure weren't glamorous, and maybe not all were seeking such adventure. Otherwise, why were they coming? What did we have here they wanted? Nothing but prairie and rugged mountains. It wasn't cushy, and you still don't want to get caught out in a Wyoming wind and hail storm today. Maybe there was a part of every one of them wanting to move west just to no longer be east.

Thanks historical marker.

See the Wyoming Historic Preservation Office marker of the month here.